FIBA World Cup

Red-hot Serbia shoots down Canada to reach FIBA World Cup finale

Delfin Dioquino

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Red-hot Serbia shoots down Canada to reach FIBA World Cup finale

FLEX. Bogdan Bogdanovic in action for Serbia against Canada in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


Bogdan Bogdanovic and Serbia shoot the lights out as they reach the FIBA World Cup final for the second time in three editions

MANILA, Philippines – Serbia tore Canada apart with its blistering shooting and advanced to the championship game of the FIBA World Cup after a methodical 95-86 win at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, September 8.

Bogdan Bogdanovic fired 23 points to lead five players in double-figure scoring as the Serbians shot a scintillating 62% from the field to reach the World Cup final for the second time in three editions.

Settling for silver in 2014, Serbia looks to complete its unfinished business against the winner between the USA and Germany in the championship game on Sunday, September 10.

Big man Nikola Milutinov finished with 16 points on a perfect 6-of-6 clip to go with 10 rebounds as the Serbians pounded the ball inside, making a whopping 71% of their two-point attempts.

Ognjen Dobric added 16 points, while Marko Guduric and Aleksa Avramovic chimed in 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the wire-to-wire win that saw Serbia enter the break with a 52-39 halftime lead.

“We had break downs defensively but we gave it what we had,” said NBA forward RJ Barrett, who paced the Canadians with 23 points. 

Coming off back-to-back games with at least 30 points, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got limited to 15 points as the Canadians witnessed the end of their best World Cup run.

“For me the best defensive team is Canada, but we demonstrated one more time we can play defense, transition offense,” said Serbia coach Svetislav Pesic. 

“Very important point in preparing the game was to take away points from transition. This is the key. Secondly, very good one-on-one defense especially against Shai, one of the best players… he was an additional motivation, to take him out of the game. Difficult, but i think we did the job with great success.”

The Scores

Serbia 95 – Bogdanovic 23, Milutinov 16, Dobric 16, Guduric 12, Avramovic 10, N. Jovic 8, Marinkovic 4, Davidovac 4, S. Jovic 2, Petrusev 0.

Canada 86 – Barrett 23,  Brooks 16, Gilgeous-Alexander 15, Alexander-Walker 10, Olynyk 9, Edey 5, Powell 5, Dort 3, Alexander 0, Bell-Haynes 0, Ejim 0, Scrubb 0.

Quarters: 23-15, 52-39, 75-63, 95-86.


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.